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Understand the PRA result



I would like to thank Chelsea James, the owner of "Raindance" Italian Greyhounds in the USA, who is the author of the study and tables below and who always consults the breed's intetests as well as the breeders' awareness. She creates the test results interpretation compilations and is an important voice in the community of breeders of those amazing dogs in the whole world.



"Since there still seems to be some confusion on how to interpret the results of the UC Davis PRA DNA test, and the chart on the UC Davis website is confusing, I have made a more clear cheat sheet. But to be clear, ***NO ONE*** should be using this test to remove dogs from their breeding program. This test allows us to KEEP dogs in the gene pool, by picking a complementary match. IF anyone tells you that you should not breed your dog based on Carrier results or keep your results a secret, they are behaving IRRESPONSIBLY and DOING DAMAGE to the breed. Even most At Risk dogs can be kept safely in a breeding program if a complementary match is selected. Everyone should be encouraged to SHARE their results, and ideally post on italiangreyhound.breedarchive.com. Breeders who will not share results or are afraid to share results are NOT responsible.   
Common questions:
-My dog is Bb, does that mean if I breed to another Bb that they will produce PRA?
Answer: NO. Indeed Bb to Bb could produce bb, but bb is insignificant.
-My dog carries cc and ee, should I make sure I breed to a dog with "all capitals?"
Answer: NO, this is not neccessary. The idea that you need to only use dogs with "all capitals" is completely false. A dog that is cc and ee, would be fine to be bred to any combination EXCEPT dogs who carry both Aa and Dd (because it could result in offspring being AaDdEe or AaDdee which are 5x at risk), but matches who carry just Aa would be ok, and matches that carried just Dd would be ok (could produce Carriers, but not at risk).
-My dog carries Aa so is a Carrier. Should I not breed my dog?
Answer: You absolutely SHOULD breed your dog if your dog has other virtues to offer the breed, and you can find a complementary match that is AA and avoid matches that will yield at risk combinations of Aa Bb/bb Cc/cc OR Aa Dd Ee/ee. 
-What if my dog is aa, what should I do?
Answer: If you breed your dog to a dog who is AA, the entire litter will result in 100% puppies who are Aa, therefore Carriers. Avoid matches that will yield at risk combinations of Aa Bb/bb Cc/cc OR Aa Dd Ee/ee. 
-My dog is "all capitals" and I only want to breed "all capitals" because this is more responsible, right?
Answer: NO. Having a dog who is all capitals is great/fine, but limiting yourself to combinations that only produce all capitals and removing dogs from your program who have anything but all capitals is reckless, irresponsible and damaging to the breed. You do not get a gold star for insisting on only breeding "all capitals." 
-I really like a dog that I want to breed to but it carries Aa and my dog is "all capitals" - wouldn't it be better to avoid these Carrier dogs since my bitch has great PRA DNA?
Answer: Ideally, a great goal is reducing incidence over time of dogs carrying Aa, but we are not there yet. Dogs carrying Aa may offer qualities that do not exist elsewhere, like other long term health and longevity, good temperament, other qualities that we are losing. If we remove every single Aa dog and pass over them, we may lose more than simply reducing PRA carriers. Those Aa dogs may hold the keys to reducing incidence of autoimmune disease, less frequent leg breaks, better temperaments, other conformation qualities that are desired. 
-My dog is "all capitals" which means it can never develop PRA, right?
Answer: Unfortunately, we know there are still genes we have not yet identified for PRA, and it is still possible for a dog who has Normal results on this DNA test to develop another form of PRA.
-My dog is not at risk to develop PRA, do I still have to do eye exams?
Answer: YES YOU STILL NEED TO DO EYE EXAMS! Ideally every year. We still have other eye disorders that need to be checked for - vitreous degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma (not just PCAG), iris coloboma, retina and lens issues, etc."
Chelsea James, owner of the "Raindance" kennel 

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